London News & Search
Former Royal Marine Andy Grant claims his wallet was stolen as he grabbed a bite to eat before leaving the capital for his hometown of Liverpool on Thursday.
The 28-year-old, who has a prosthetic leg, said despite buying his ticket using the Trainline App, he was escorted away from the platform by British Transport Police officers after failing to show his railcard.
Mr Grant, who won two gold medals at the Invictus Games in 2014, launched a Twitter rant at the train company branding the incident “a disgrace” after staff allegedly questioned his disability.
The athlete said he ran back to the café where he had eaten to look for his missing wallet but it was nowhere to be found.
He wrote on Twitter: “The Virgin staff said ‘tough, you need to go but another ticket’.
“She then said, how do we know you are disabled and have a rail card? I replied because I got blown up in Afghanistan and lifted my trouser leg up.”
He added: “In disbelief at the lack of common sense and walked past her to explain directly to the train manager when the police/security came running.”
In a video clip shared by the former marine on Twitter, two officers appear to walk him through security barriers and away from the trains as he describes the incident.
In a stroke of luck, Mr Grant then claims to have bumped into a friend at the station who bought him a new ticket.
Hundreds of people shared their support for the war veteran and offered to pay his fare to Liverpool Lime Street.
He wrote on Twitter: “Can’t thank everyone enough for the kind tweets, DM’s and offers to help me out. Means a lot, very grateful for the support.”
Hours after telling followers he had arrived home, the Liverpudlian shared an image of an email from Virgin Trains apologising for the incident.
He later claims to have received a second email from the company’s director but wrote in a tweet alongside an image of his false leg: “4000 RT’s later a director at @VirginTrains has emailed I don’t accept the apology or the refund when I confirm I have a disabled railcard”.
A spokesman for Virgin Trains told the Standard: “‘We’re sorry about Andy’s experience.
“Disabled railcard tickets are discounted and only valid if the railcard is shown at the same time. This is to ensure that everyone with a disability is treated equally, whether their disability is obvious or not.
“Andy had his ticket but not the railcard. In this situation a new ticket has to be bought, by a friend or relative over the phone if necessary, and a full refund for this new ticket will be given when the customer produces their railcard later.
“Our station teams did try to explain this to Andy on a number of occasions but we’re sorry if this wasn’t clear.”
British Transport Police have been contacted for a comment.
London News & Search